Griffith Park mountain lion back in the news

p22-griffith-park-mountain-lion.jpgSince at least February, National Park Service trackers have known — via photos — that P-22 was roaming the canyons of Griffith Park. The three-year-old male, born way west in the Santa Monica Mountains range, had to cross both the 405 and 101 freeways to get to the park. He has been sedated, collared and DNA-tested at least once, but the GPS component of the collar has gone dead and now trackers are trying to find the lion again to reattach a new collar. He recently was tracked to the brush land not far from the Forest Lawn cemetery, the LA Times says.

Meanwhile, you can do the math. Mountain lions like to range over hundreds of square miles to find deer and other food, plus a mate. Griffith Park has about 4,210 acres, or fewer than eight square miles, and not all of that is anything remotely wild — golf courses, children's play areas, the observatory. On all sides of the park are the city, with varying levels of wild brush connecting to the park's chaparral. Feels like he's going to have to keep moving. "Griffith Park is so tiny, yet we have this young male mountain lion in there," Jeff Sikich, a National Park Service biologist, says in today's Times story. "We're really interested in how he got there, how long he will stay and, if and when he chooses to leave, how he will cross these freeways."

In May, that young lion was killed in downtown Santa Monica. In April a mountain lion was killed by game wardens in Sunland. Last December those two cubs were found hiding beneath a car in Burbank. And last summer, P-18 was found run over and killed on the 405 freeway near the Getty Center.

Just a few weeks ago, the park service did trap and tag two newborn cubs in the western Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu.

National Park Service photo of P-22

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